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Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest American writers. He was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1898. His father was a doctor who was also a keen sportsman. He passed his enthusiasm for fishing and hunting on to his son, who later wrote about this in many of his novels and short stories. Although his father wanted him to study medicine, Hemingway became a reporter for a newspaper in Kansas City at
the age of seventeen.

When the United States entered the First World War, he joined the Italian army as a volunteer. He worked as an ambulance driver at the front. He was badly wounded, so he spent quite a long time in hospitals. For his service he was decorated with the Cross of War by the Italian Government. His war experience was described in his novel A Farewell to Arms. Published in 1929, it is considered to be the greatest American novel about World War I. It is the story of a volunteer ambulance driver who is wounded on the Italian front. He falls in love with a beautiful British nurse. Their relationship develops in a world gone mad with war.

After his return to the United States, Hemingway became a reporter for Canadian and American newspapers. Soon, he was sent back to Europe to cover important events, such as the Greek Revolution. During the 1920s, Hemingway became a member of the group of American intellectuals in Paris. He described his experience there in his first important work, The Sun Also Rises (1926).

In 1936 Hemingway went to Spain as a special correspondent in the Civil War which was fought there. He got the material for his most ambitious novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, which came out in 1940.

Hemingway also wrote collections of short stories and several other novels. He wrote a lot about hunting and fishing, about the bull fights in Spain, and about African safaris. His works are not just adventure stories. They depict people and experiences in a brilliant, characteristic style, which many students of literature have tried to imitate.

Among his later works, the most outstanding is the short novel, The Old Man and the Sea (1952). It is the story of an old fisherman's journey, and his long and lonely struggle with a fish and the sea. The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.

Hemingway had a complicated personal life. He was married four times. In his later years he grew sad and disillusioned. He died in Idaho in 1961.